According to Football Insider, Glasgow Rangers target Daniel Johnson’s future at Preston North End is in doubt after he rejected a club-record deal.
It’s claimed Johnson is still of interest to Rangers and that Alex Neil is resigned to the loss of the 28-year-old in the summer.
Rangers seem to be in a one-horse race to sign the attacking midfielder, whose current contract is set to expire at the end of this season.
Johnson has been in decent form for Preston after a sluggish start, providing four goals and three assists in 18 appearances in all competitions this season, via Transfermarkt.
He has played 17 games in the Championship, bagging three goals and three assists, but he now seems destined for the Deepdale exit.
A transfer for Johnson would be a good move for Rangers, especially if the club don’t intend to renew Bongani Zungu’s contract, which will run out at the end of the current season.
From the outside, it seems he has a lot of factors that make him the perfect fit for Steven Gerrard’s side: an experienced box-to-box midfielder itching for a new challenge; available for little more than a compensation fee; and he has the ability to play in a variety of positions across the midfield.
Just like Rangers legend Barry Ferguson before him, the £3.6m-rated colossus could become the lynchpin in the midfield, as he is able to control the ball and dictate play. Ferguson famously scored 19 goals from the middle of the park to win the Scottish Football Writers’ Association and PFA Scotland Players’ Player of the Year in the 2002-03 season.
In over 200 appearances for Preston, Johnson has contributed to 76 goals in total, via Transfermarkt.
Speaking to Football Insider, Alan Hutton heaped praise on his old Aston Villa teammate, saying: “Obviously, I know Daniel Johnson from his time at Villa, so I was very surprised at the time when Villa let him go, I thought it was very early, I thought they could have held onto him to see where he went in his career.
“He’s gone to Preston and he’s been unbelievable, done unbelievably well. Last season, he played as a number 10 and I think the numbers are there for everyone to see, he’s done really well, but he’s also a number eight in my opinion, he can do both.”
As Gerrard’s Gers look to derail Celtic’s bid for ten in a row, recruiting the Jamaican would be a shrewd bit of business. It’s rare to find a talented player for such a low transfer fee, that’s for sure.